Via CNBC

Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade amid greater trade optimism between the U.S. and China.

Mainland Chinese stocks were subdued in early trade. The Shanghai composite fell 0.70%, while the Shenzhen composite and the Shenzhen component were flat.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.21%.

Trade optimism boosted sentiment as U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he had “a very good talk” with China’s leader Xi Jinping about the so-called phase one trade deal they struck in mid-December. That indicated more progress has been made after they reached the initial agreement.

The president said in a tweet that China has started “large scale” purchases of U.S. agricultural products, and a formal deal signing is being arranged. On Saturday, he said both countries would “very shortly” sign the deal.

In other positive trade developments, China on Monday said it will lower import tariffs on over 850 products from Jan.1, including frozen pork, as well as some information technology products starting July 1.

Other Asia markets

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.27%, and the Topix index was flat. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.27%.

Major miners in Australia fell in morning trade. Rio Tinto was down 1.39%, and Fortescue Metals declined 1.37%. BHP Group fell 1.17%.

South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.10%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat.

Over in Singapore, the country’s consumer inflation data is set to be released on Monday.

Meanwhile, China’s state-backed semiconductor fund over the weekend announced plans to reduce holdings in some tech firms, according to a Reuters report. The state fund planned to cut its stakes in Gigadevice Semiconductor, chipmaker Shenzhen Goodix Technology and Hunan Goke Microelectronics by about one percentage point each, according to those companies’ statements.

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That came as all three firms had huge stock gains this year, the report said.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.672, retreating from a high of 97.758 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.43 against the dollar, a touch weaker from levels above 109.2 last week.

The Australian dollar last changed hands at $0.6908, strengthening from an earlier low of 0.6886.

Oil prices declined during Asia morning hours. Brent crude was down 0.20% to $66.01 and U.S. crude futures dropped 0.22% to $60.31 per barrel.

Here’s the economic calendar for Wednesday (all times in HK/SIN):

1:00 p.m.: Singapore’s consumer price index

— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report